I do love working within parameters, and it's been a tradition of mine to do a bunch of quilts with the Pantone color(s) of the year since 2014. Over eight years, I've managed to make a lot of Pantone quilts.
Even though I am a few months late in sharing my quilts from 2021, I did finish an entire series of quilts based on Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. I really think that the choice of gray and yellow for the colors of the year were meant to be a metaphor of the light at the end of the tunnel. I tried to incorporate that theme throughout all of the quilts that I made. I will post them now in the order that I finished them.
First is "Resolution," a quilt that I finished way back in January of 2021 while I was participating in last year's Project Quilting. I didn't cut into any new fabric for this quilt, deciding instead to dump out my solid scrap bin and see what I had first. That act of dumping the bin led to the wonderful discovery of how nicely gray and yellow play with blue and turquoise. I saw the relationship when a piece of turquoise fell near the piles of gray and yellow that I was sorting.
I played with the theme of "light at the end of the tunnel" by using yellow as the light. I used a piece of it in every block as the light. I think it's what makes this quilt work.
This quilt is very small, only 18" x 18." My scrap usage determined the size as I used what I had. It is finished with quilting in monofilament thread.
Next up is "Ab Intra." This quilt also was made for a Project Quilting challenge last year. Ab intra is a Latin phrase that means "from within." I thought that I could combine the metaphor of "light at the end of the tunnel" with my personal ab intra, which is my faith. My faith illuminates my heart and mind and provides the light by which I see the world. My faith animates my life and gives purpose and meaning to my actions. My faith guides my steps along the path.
I combined the gray and yellow with the colors of the world waking up in spring. It felt appropriate for what I was trying to say, that faith brings growth and life, and also for the time of year in which it was made. I finished this in April of 2021. I used the yellow in the center as an illuminating light within. Even though I used a heavy hand with the gray, I love how much life is in this quilt. It makes me happy. This quilt finished at 37" x 37" and is quilted with straight lines in golden thread.
I didn't begin work on the next Pantone quilt until December, but in the meantime I created an entire set of hand dyed fabrics to work with. Since my discovery of how nicely blueish turquoise played with the gray and yellow, I made sure to include some blues in my dyeing experiments.
I also ended up with some hand dyed and hand painted fabric to use (shown in background). I had just poured the gray dye on a piece of fabric when I heard one of my children throw up from down the hall. Suffice it to say, that batch did not get stirred at all and ended up being a pretty unusable blotchy mess. I didn't want to waste it, so I used my Gelli plate to hand print a combed design over all of it. I think it ended up being one of my favorite fabrics in the set and was the basis for another quilt I'll show later. Thank goodness for improvisation!
The next quilt was turned into a pillow. My son's 6th grade teacher was married over the winter break and I only needed to take a quick glance at her online wedding registry to know that gray and yellow would work for her too. I used a very light touch with the yellow and had it act as a focal point. The strips of fabric were purposefully cut freehand and wobbly. I used hand dyed fabrics from my Pantone set. I really love the watercolor, sueded look. I finished it by stitching in the ditch with matching thread. This is an 18" pillow.
I hope this pillow has a long and happy life with the newly married couple.
The next quilt is called "A Light at the End of the Tunnel" and is 40" x 40" I used the metaphor that I keep coming back to as an inspiration for the name and so many of the decisions that I made while constructing this quilt. Either gray or yellow is used in every block. The pattern is fixed but the blocks were constructed in a free pieced way.
It is made with a combination of hand dyed fabrics and shot cotton. I love the depth it gives. It is finished with matchstick quilting in gray thread and finished with a matched binding.
I'll admit here that I had this quilt 75% of the way quilted in monofilament thread when I decided that the yellow was showing too many of the dark threads from the wrong side and that the problem was only made more obvious with every line of quilting I put in. I spent more than a week ripping out quilting only to start matchstick quilting it in gray thread. My back, neck and shoulders definitely paid the price for it, but I liked the quilt enough to work hard for the save. I'm much happier with the result. Imagining that better result was a light at the end of the tunnel for me while I was ripping! I definitely could have done without that real life example, though. 😏
The last quilt I'll share is "A Bright Spot in a Dark Time," which is 27" x 27."
I made this quilt from the leftover scraps of the previous quilt. I also used hand dyed and hand printed fabric along with the scraps. I used the fabric I made from printed over top of the blotchy mess as my background. I included a shot of my fingers on the quilt. I noticed that I had inadvertantly left some of my painted fingerprints behind when I had printed the fabric. The temptation to use the "Jill has her fingerprints all over this quilt" joke was too strong, so I pieced it in. 😁
The whole concept for this quilt came from a comment made on my last blog post that had personal significance to me. That is where the title comes from. I also played with the light at the end of the tunnel theme that has stretched across the making of all of these quilts. This might be the eternal optimist in me, but I believe it's even more important to look for the light *during* the dark. Life isn't meant to be endured until it eventually gets good. If you look for it, there's light and good to be found in the darkest of times along the way. "The darker the night, the brighter the stars."
This quilt was quilted in improv waves with monofilament thread and finished with a matched binding.
Thanks for reading the whole round up of Pantone quilts. I'm trying to make good on my promise of blogging more. 💖 If you are interested in reading EVEN MORE, the IG Quilt Fest, hosted by Amy's Creative Side, is currently happening on Instagram. I've made a commitment to post every day in the month of March. Who knew there was so much to say about quilts?
You can find me and follow along at @pieladyquilts.